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Feb 17

Marauders #18 annotations

Posted on Wednesday, February 17, 2021 by Paul in Annotations, x-axis

As always, this post contains spoilers, and page numbers go by the digital edition.

“Saving Face”
by Gerry Duggan, Stefano Caselli, Matteo Lolli & Edgar Delgado

COVER / PAGE 1: Just an action shot of Iceman and Pyro. I think it might be going for a yin-yang thing, but if so, it’s pretty loose.

PAGE 2. Quote from an anonymous UN ambassador about Madripoor. Could well be Madripoor’s own ambassador, Donald Pierce. In terms of the way Madripoor has been presented in Wolverine stories over the years, the comment isn’t unreasonable.

PAGE 3. Professor X and Magneto arrive for Emma’s ceremony.

“I know you have been helping Emma with her gala…” The Hellfire Gala, first mentioned in issue #7. It’s finally going to happen in upcoming issues of X-Men, where the new team line-up is going to be held. Magneto helped Emma by acquiring the location in Giant-Size X-Men: Magneto #1.

“[D]id she offer any hint as to why she insisted on our presence in Madripoor this morning?” This is interesting. Emma has insisted that two of the most important mutants in Krakoa come to Madripoor, not to actually participate in this ceremony, but so that they can watch it from the audience. And she does it even though the ceremony is televised (as we see next page). Why? See further below.

Presumably Magneto and Professor X arrived by a gate, not by the Marauder, despite what the art suggests.

The ceremony. The people on stage – from left to right – are Callisto, Pyro, Kate Pryde (with Lockheed), Emma Frost, Bishop, Christian Frost, Sebastian Shaw, Iceman, Shinobi Shaw and Proteus. Proteus is the only one of these characters not associated with Hellfire Trading, and he makes a rare appearance here without the rest of the Five – taking him off Krakoa to a state with a hostile government seems kind of risky.

PAGE 4. Homines Verendi watch the presentation.

Emma’s basically right that Madripoor has always been a kleptocracy, even before Homines Verendi got involved.

PAGES 5-6. Emma unveils the memorial.

Not only is Emma setting up a hospital, but it’s a memorial to Moira MacTaggert. This is why her son Proteus is present. We know, from House of X and Powers of X, that Moira is hidden on Krakoa and has regular dealings with Professor X and Magneto. Nobody else is meant to know that, and Emma describes Moira in her traditional, pre-Hickman role (“one of mutantdom’s most staunch human allies”). Professor X and Magneto look distinctly uncomfortable about the mention of Moira’s name, as well they might when they’ve been concealing her role as the power behind the throne.

Emma says to Kate that this was “worth it just for the look on Erik’s and Charles’ faces”. Which is… interesting. If she knew nothing about Moira then she’d have no reason to expect any particular response from them. So how much does she know, and why is she poking Xavier and Magneto about it? Is she just stirring, or is there some reason why she wants to provoke them and observe their reaction?

PAGE 7. Recap and credits.

PAGES 8-10. Masque is put to work in the hospital.

Masque’s power to alter faces always had potential applications for plastic surgery – here, to cure a cleft lip – but in the past he always used it sadistically, or to help mutants fit in as Morlock outsiders. In some ways that was a precursor of the mutant-nationalist attitudes of Krakoa.

PAGES 11-12. Bishop, Iceman and Pyro buy a bar.

Apparently you can buy a bar in Madripoor just by handing a sack of money to the owner and reaching an oral agreement. Seems a bit relaxed even for Madripoor. Let’s assume the Marauders just forge the necessary documents once he’s out of the way, though the timescales do seem to suggest that in the next scene Kade somehow learns about this transaction right away.

PAGES 13-14. The new Reavers emerge.

Max von Frankenstein is taking the lead in creating these things, consistent with his junior mad-scientist persona. The original Reavers’ leader, Donald Pierce, is also on the Homines Verendi payroll, but it’s not apparent that he has any particular involvement in this. We’ll see later that these are all people who’ve been injured by the mutants in the Krakoan era, and have become cyborgs in order to get revenge. This is time-honoured stuff for the Reavers – it was basically the motivation of Cole, Reese and Macon from the classic team.

PAGES 15-21. The Reavers attack the bar.

Largely self-explanatory. Page 19 has three flashback panels showing battles where the Reavers suffered their injuries. One of them appears to have lost an arm to Iceman in Marauders #10 (as confirmed in the later data page), which must have happened off panel. Gorgon’s battle with mercenaries at Davos was shown in X-Men #4. The other panel is a fairly generic image of Wolverine in Madripoor, wearing a jacket and clawing two individuals – this seems to be generic, since there hasn’t been a Krakoa-era story with Wolverine in Madripoor dressed like that.

PAGE 22. Data page. Bishop reports to the Beast. It’s basically recapping the plot we just saw, but it also reminds us that Bishop joined the Marauders in part because the Beast suggested it was an intelligence opportunity (in issue #4).

PAGE 23. Donald Pierce addresses the United Nations.

Ah, it’s one of those stories where the United Nations is a fast-moving organisation that actually does stuff fast. For some reason Krakoa is completely unrepresented at this meeting. Who is the Krakoan ambassador to the UN, come to think of it? Was anyone particularly qualified for that job?

PAGE 24. Homines Verendi send the Reavers into Lowtown.

Okay, this bit doesn’t really make sense. The government of Madripoor doesn’t need the UN’s permission to bar the Marauder from its waters. True, they did ask the UN for a peacekeeping force, but does Madripoor really not have its own navy to do this? And it’s not as if the Marauders is the mutants’ only way onto the island – even if the gates are destroyed, they have plenty of teleporters.

PAGE 25. Trailers. The Krakoan reads NEXT: MAD WORLD.



Bring on the comments

  1. Daibhid C says:

    Yeah, the cover kind of looks like they did Pyro as one half of a yin-yang symbol, and then couldn’t figure out how to draw Bobby as the other half without them crashing into each other.

  2. Glen Newman says:

    On the last panel of page 12 there’s a guy sitting down using his phone discreetly and then Kade is on his phone on page 13 so I presumed the guy in the bar informed him

  3. The Other Michael says:

    In his earliest appearances, Masque was truly hideous, and frustrated because his power didn’t work on himself.

    He seems to have upgraded from hideous to merely corpselike at some point… (ah, Wiki reminds me that he enjoyed a secondary mutation allowing him to finally reshape his own appearance as well.)

    Still, given Masque’s long history of cruelty and sadism with regards to his powers, it’s odd to see him so cooperative in this issue when it comes to helping humans (or anyone he considers “pretty”). Just giving him a nice house and access to a golf course or whatever shouldn’t be enough to give him a complete personality transplant.

    I’m trying to think who would be a good Kroakoan ambassador. Doug, who can speak and understand any language, but he’s busy. Prodigy, since all you have to do is put him near the other ambassadors and representatives and he’ll pick up their diplomatic skills and experiences? Warren Worthington, since he’s rich, photogenic, and one of the original X-Men? Storm, for her own experience, and connections to Wakanda?

    Pity all the best candidates seem to be spoken for in other books already.

    Now here’s an interesting question: Say that all mutants are considered citizens of Krakoa… whether they like it or not. Now, virtually all mutants start off as citizens of other countries. So what happens if your home country doesn’t allow dual citizenship? What if America, for instance, strips all Krakoan-aligned mutants of their American citizenship, and how would that affect them in the long run, including the ones who are naturalized U.S. citizens like, I believe, Roberto DaCosta?

    Now I envision a scenario in which American mutants are stripped of citizenship, forcibly detained, and deported to Krakoa. I’m honestly surprised it hasn’t really come up before, the way some of them up and move to Asteroid M, Genosha, Otherworld, the Shi’ar galaxy…

  4. Anthony says:

    Iceman took off that guy’s arm back in Marauders #8

  5. Uncanny X-Ben says:

    The X-Men mutilating humans is the new Sentry ripping people in half.

  6. K says:

    It would be far more realistic for Krakoan citizens to voluntarily renounce their US citizenship so that they don’t have to pay US taxes.

    Such is the trend nowadays for real-world US expatriates.

  7. K says:

    Come to think of it, Iceman is an accountant. Literally everybody on the island probably found out that trick day one.

  8. Chris V says:

    Yes, they basically already did that story when the US government was threatening to deport all mutants to the sovereign nation of New Tian after the Secret Empire event.

    I’m not sure the Krakoans would much care; and as K pointed out, it simply means a person wouldn’t have to pay double taxes…or, in the case of Krakoan citizens, any taxes.

    I believe that any nation having a trade agreement with Krakoa is hesitant to do anything which could upset Krakoa, for fear of losing access to their drugs.

  9. Chris V says:

    Oh, and the correct answer to Krakoa’s ambassador to the UN is, of course, Joanna Cargill.
    She was the UN ambassador from Genosha when Magneto got Genosha recognized as a mutant nation during the late-1990s.

  10. Allan M says:

    Minor continuity point from this week’s Savage Avengers, in which the Marauders (Bishop, Iceman and Callisto) guest-star. It’s established that the original Hellfire Club HQ in New York City has been shut down and abandoned, though the security system still works. We’ve seen the London Hellfire Trading Company offices with Krakoan vines and whatnot, but this is the first time I recall the NYC building being addressed. Between it and the Mansion, the Krakoans really seem to have pulled out of the USA entirely.

  11. Jon R says:

    Yeah, Masque’s turn there felt awfully sudden. I’d like it more if I felt like there’d be direct follow up, but it seems like this book’s somewhat interested in the Morlocks but has other things to mostly do.

    I always liked early messed up Masque as an especially nasty part of the Morlocks, doing things like his part of kidnapping and ‘adjusting’ the Powers kids. Not so much later Masque who was actually trying to be a leader or main villain.

  12. CitizenBane says:

    I was hitherto under the impression that Emma was Krakoa’s ambassador to the UN, since she was at the UN in the House of X issue where she telepathically manipulated the Russian ambassador into abstaining on the Security Council vote to recognize Krakoa.

  13. Rob says:

    Come to think of it, did we ever get a story where Sunspots immigration status was cleared up? I remember he was deported in the Moore/Pollina X-Force run in the 90s…

    US law allows dual citizenship.

  14. Chris V says:

    It doesn’t seem it was touched on again, as far as I know.
    Shortly after that, Roberto joined the Hellfire Club. He was still a member as of the end of John Francis Moore’s X-Force.

    I would assume that the Hellfire Club would be able to easily take care of that for Roberto.
    They have inside connections with US senators.

  15. Chris V says:

    After the Moira ceremony scene in this issue, I was having horrible visions of everyone on Krakoa revealing that they have known about Moira and it’s not a big deal.
    It’ll be presented as a big joke.
    I think that would be the final nail in the coffin.
    It’s something I need to forget now.

  16. Uncanny X-Ben says:

    I saw someone on Reddit asking where Bishop’s”M” mark went so I looked, it comes and goes throughout the issue.

  17. Si says:

    In USAvengers, Roberto talked about becoming a US citizen when he was still in the original New Mutants. He might have been lying about the circumstances, but he must have been a citizen by USAvengers time, unless he was fooling the government itself.

    And yeah, Masque was best when they were a nasty, petty hardcase who loved messing up peoples’ faces just because.

  18. Krzysiek Ceran says:

    On the other hand ‘park a mutant healer in a hospital’ is the obvious PR play the X-Men should have done ages ago.

    On another note, between having a band of heroes fight anti-mutant groups, help mutants and, sometimes, actual other people in need, dealing with Hellfire plots and counterplots and somehow finding time to at least sketch out Morlocks in Krakoa… Marauders seems to be juggling more than any other title? Sure, some things get lost in the shuffle, but still, I’m kind of impressed.

    More and more I wish this was the X-Men, with Hickman’s book being called, I don’t know, ‘Cyclops Has a Pretty Good Day’ or something.

    At the very least I’d like for somebody to go back in time and switch Marauders and Hellions titles, because seriously. Still bothers me.

  19. Joseph S. says:

    I don’t know if its just this particular group of writers or if the X-Slack has been really conducive to line-wide cohesion, but I’m really appreciating the way the books have been bringing the threads together. Many folks commented on the maiming of human soldiers, in this book and elsewhere. That feels like a good updated take on the Reavers, certainly their motivation is clearer than the generic cannon fodder antagonists in X-Force. And sits nicely with Hickman’s posthuman meta-narrative.

    Curious to see where this subplot with Emma is going, but certainly does more to make Hellfire a more powerful faction in their own right. But shouldn’t Rahne have been there? This would have spoiled the reveal for the reader, but seems odd in-story.

    I hope they let this status quo in Madripoor settle for a while. Might be nice to get some M-Town anthology stories out of it.

  20. Evilgus says:

    Also very pleased that the casual maiming of henchman has come back to get the Marauders. I found all that really unpleasant – so I’m kind of hoping these new Reavers are able to get some kind of revenge!

    I enjoyed seeing the normally embittered Masque using his powers for unselfish good. Weren’t we taking about this in a recent comment thread – this is what mutants ought to be doing to gain acceptance?

    I enjoyed the Moira hospital reveal, bit Emma’s motivation was odd. If it’s deliberate trolling, it blows a hole in Krakoa. It would have made more sense for, say, Kitty or Rahne to innocently unveil the memorial, and Xavier and Magneto (and the reader) to be uncomfortable.

    Still don’t feel that Bishop has enough to do!

  21. Allan M says:

    The Moira statue’s wearing the hat that she wore in the HOXPOX flashbacks, a look she hadn’t sported in prior stories, which points to Emma knowing about that incident and hence Moira being a mutant. My guess is that with Apocalypse gone, Emma’s looking to wedge herself into the inner circle of Krakoan leadership, and this is her making it clear that saying no to her is a Very Bad Idea since she knows way more than they realized.

    That’s also why she brings Proteus along, to remind Xavier and Magneto that the Krakoan project is fundamentally reliant on five people, and they’re lying to the nearly omnipotent one about his mother being dead. Emma doesn’t want to bring down Krakoa, but given her speeches throughout this series, I think she’s done with secretive men unilaterally assuming control of things.

  22. Chris V says:

    Wait until Proteus learns that his mother only gave birth to him to fulfill an agenda for her plan of creating Krakoa….

    If Emma knows about Moira then Kitty must also know based on that scene.

  23. Uncanny X-Ben says:

    I would like people to be right about the Emma/Moira stuff.

    But I think that might be giving things too much credit.

  24. Joseph S. says:

    Yeah totally agreed about Masque. This is the kind of thing that Krakoa is for All Mutants makes possible, Hickman’s moving beyond mutant vs mutant. We need to see mutants scoring some wins, using their powers (alone or in “mutant technology” configurations) to help others.

    This issue also convinced me somehow that there may be some good stories to come from the X-Corp series.

  25. MasterMahan says:

    It’s always been a bit frustrating to see the X-Men shoot themselves in the foot on the peaceful coexistence dream by constantly doing so little co-existing. There are so many ways they could be a part of society and give humans a chance to see mutants as relatable individuals. Instead, Xavier decided a secretive militia was the way to win hearts and minds.

    Some of it is, of course, the genre, but it still irritates.

    The art continuity wasn’t great on this issue. There’s Bishop’s vanishing M. Kate’s first appearance has her in an evening gown with Lockheed on her shoulders. Next panel has her in her pirate garb, Lockheed vanished.

    Emma’s jacket also visibly shortens during the ceremony.

  26. Luis Dantas says:

    The more I consider the scenario of Emma knowing about Moira, the more I like it.

    Emma was already a top level class telepath in her first appearance. It is entirely reasonable that she would pick something about Moira from Xavier after so many months of situations where they interact closely and Moira’s secrets ought to rise to his surface thoughts often.

    And that is without considering the chances of picking up anything from Moira herself or Magneto. All three doubtlessly have good psychic shields of some sort, but they have been betting that those will literally never fail along many thousands of tests. That is so much arrogance that I would like to see it bite them back.

    I have a hard time believing that many Krakoans would renounce US (or other) nationality quite so casually. Fictional and artificial as they are, nationalities are difficult to do without at the current political arrangements, and attempts to forget about Utopia and Genosha can only go so far.

  27. Thom H. says:

    “Instead, Xavier decided a secretive militia was the way to win hearts and minds.”

    Not to mention when the O5 reunited as X-Factor and posed as human investigators who “took care” of “mutant problems.” Way to challenge the system, guys.

  28. Krzysiek Ceran says:

    Ah, but that was the cunning plan of a manipulative supervillain!

    Which might be the best salvage operation by a Marvel writer, though the O5 still come out as dummies.

  29. Chris V says:

    I did like the juxtaposition which X-Factor created when contrasted with Claremont’s vision for his X-Men.

    Yes, it made the original X-Men look like idiots.

    Still, Xavier created the X-Men team to fight against “evil mutants” who would challenge the system, in the hope that eventually humanity would come to its senses and learn to accept mutants.

    Claremont’s vision for the X-Men, by the time that X-Factor came in to existence, was that they were more like revolutionaries. Xavier had even granted the leadership of the school to Magneto.

    So, I thought it ended up working nicely.

  30. Thom H. says:

    Ah, I just read that Cameron Hodge was behind that stupid X-Factor status quo. Good to know that at least the O5 were being duped.

    Still, it makes you think that the primary lesson they learned from Xavier was “hide at all costs.” Which is maybe not great leadership.

  31. Chris V says:

    He was the guy that made “passing” seem acceptable.

  32. Col_Fury says:

    Didn’t Wolverine have a guest appearance in Black Cat, set in Madripoor, wearing a nice suit? I seem to remember that, but that was so long ago, from the Before Times…

  33. Joseph S. says:


    Emma has never been written as a high level telepath, as far as I know. It’s part of the reason given for why she has used her appearance to manipulate folks. Emma uses her powers cleverly because she doesn’t have the brute strength of Xavier, Jean Grey, Psylocke etc.

  34. Thom H. says:

    I think Emma’s been powered down a bit since her first appearance. In the lead-up to the Dark Phoenix Saga, she didn’t exactly hold her own against Phoenix in one-to-one combat but she wasn’t immediately vanquished either. Which means she must have been pretty powerful.

    This is the period when Jean’s (actually Phoenix’s) powers were frequently described as limitless, and she was rearranging molecules on a whim. For Emma to escape that fight alive is pretty impressive.

    In Emma’s next big story (UXM 151-152), she can’t even telepathically stop Storm. And I think she’s been a solid B-level telepath ever since. Certainly when she and Phoenix (really Jean this time!) had a rematch in New X-Men, Jean barged through Emma’s telepathic shields with no problem.

  35. Chris V says:

    No one ever trained Emma in the use of her powers. She learned it on her own.

    Professor X is usually described as having the most powerful mind on the planet.
    Xavier trained Jean in the use of her powers.
    So, it would make sense that Xavier and Jean would be more powerful telepaths.

    Now, Magneto doesn’t have telepathic abilities. He has a low-level of training to attempt to sense when a telepath is using their power on his mind.
    Otherwise, he can only protect himself from telepaths by using his helmet.
    He can’t wear his helmet non-stop on Krakoa.
    It does make you wonder how Moira and Xavier planned to keep their secret amongst so many telepaths when Magneto doesn’t have any telepathic powers.
    Xavier must have realized this fact.

    Also, I think that Uncanny X-Men #151-152 should be stricken from canon. It reads like a children’s cartoon version of the X-Men.
    It’s just a horribly assembled story.

  36. Krzysiek Ceran says:

    ‘Magneto doesn’t have telepathic abilities.’

    Well… it depends? I’ve reached 1986 in my Claremont readthrough and Magneto uses Cerebro shortly before Shadowcat modifies Cerebro so that ‘all X-Men, even those who are not psi-sensitive, can use it’.

  37. Luis Dantas says:

    Cerebro may well have been said to require a telepath to be operated on occasion, but is has been shown otherwise as well. Circa Uncanny #117 Beast actually says that he had just used it in an attempt to find Havok, and finds the X-Men under Mesmero’s thrall instead.

    Magneto has occasionally been said to have some form of latent psychic potential. That was lampshaded very explicitly by Xavier when the two of them attempted to communicate with Beyonder during the first Secret Wars.

    My personal perception is that in the MU training by another telepath is useful for matters of finesse, defense and control, but not for sheer potential. The actual strength of a telepath can’t be developed by another, or at least I don’t think that any story ever hinted that it could.

    When we first met Emma she felt confident that she could psychically restrain three X-Men at the same time (four if Kitty had been on sight) and it turned out that she indeed could. IIRC those were Wolverine, Storm and Colossus. It is unclear how much psychic defense they had learned from Xavier and perhaps Jean by that point.

  38. Luis Dantas says:

    As for how Jean and Emma stand in relation to each other regarding telepathic power, I suppose that Jean has been consistently been shown to be more powerful, but it has not been clear how much more so.

    Yes, she had a clear upper hand when they fought during Morrison’s New X-Men run, but the circunstances may have favored her. On a meta level, Morrison treated Phoenix and Jean as one and the same, to the point of Emma regarding them as the same being. In-world, Emma had reason to feel ashamed and uncertain at that moment, while Jean would be in full righteous wrath mode.

    Also, it was hinted in the lead up to “X-Men:Red” that Jean may have more raw telepathic power without Phoenix than everyone assumes – or at least be willing to brag that Phoenix was weighting her down.

  39. wwk5d says:

    Given how much time Moira has spent around telepaths pre-Krakoa, like Psylocke, Rachel, etc, it is funny nobody has picked up a stray thought from her regarding all of her and Xavier’s plans.

    Heck, X-man once scanned her mind, at her request, during the Warren Ellis era of Excaliber.

  40. Thom H. says:

    I agree that it’s difficult to compare telepaths in terms of relative strength. Every character’s powers fluctuate over time given the particular creative team and the needs of the story, especially Jean’s.

    Also, is it possible that Moira, Charles, and Erik were all mind-wiped at different times to safeguard Moira’s secret? I seem to recall something in HoXPoX about that, but can’t look it up right now.

    Of course, that doesn’t work when they’re all crowded onto Krakoa with a bunch of telepaths. I agree with Chris V.: regardless of how she ranks with Jean, Emma could certainly pick up stray thoughts from Erik.

  41. Krzysiek Ceran says:

    A data page in HoXPoX – I think it was the one that described the workings of Cerebro – mentioned that Xavier restored his mind from an earlier backup. At least twice, I think it was mentioned. Which suggests he consciously deleted information from his own brain.

    Loosely related, now that I think back to HoXPoX, I have a feeling that the most interesting stuff ‘happened’ in the data pages, not in the comic itself? But that’s just an impression, I’d have to read it again to confront it and honestly… I don’t particularly want to.

  42. Chris V says:

    Moira replaced herself with a Shiar golem at some point.
    I am positive that she did not allow the golem to know certain facts about the real Moira…that she was a mutant, about her past lives, her plan.
    I forget when she would have replaced herself with the golem, but it was prior to Ellis’ Excalibur.

  43. Luis Dantas says:

    As for the original X-Factor, as I recall it even the characters themselves were troubled by the implications of their strategy at times, from very early on.

    I understand that it was a deliberate narrative choice in order to create controversy and reader interest. After all, this _was_ the time of presenting Magneto as a presumably legitimate mutant leader and glossing over his crimes.

    At those times X-Force was not, could not and would not be a thing. We have given the X-Men a far wider range since.

    As a matter of fact, there has been a fairly constant move of the X-Men away from legality and deference to the government since the 1960s. As of 1979 it was already hard to believe that they once had Fred Duncan as a government intermediary who actually asked them to disband. Just some eight years later they accepted a known murderer and terrorist as headmaster of their younger generation. X-Force, the mutant equivalent of black ops of the Blackwater variety,

  44. Si says:

    I read the early X-Factor a month or so ago on Unlimited. Annoyingly the series is only partial, but the first year or so is all there. In Bob Layton’s issues, the “mutant hunter” guise is shown only in a positive light, and Cameron Hodge is a kind of uber-competent manservant type who makes no decisions himself. The first mention of their work being bad PR for mutants is Louise Jones/Simonson’s first issue, and it looks like it was shoehorned into an existing plot. The real ramifications don’t come out until later.

    As for Magneto being psychic, I get the impression from the first X-Men comics that Stan Lee’s idea was that all mutants were potentially psychic, which is what made them mutants. This ties in with his earlier uses of the term “mutant”, and the general concept at the time of future humans having amazing psychic abilities. Keeping in mind, the zeitgeist in the 1960s was all about harnessing your mind powers. Even the CIA was into it. The concept all got muddied by the X-Men themselves having more standard superhero powers, and Lee wasn’t known for consistent plots. But Magneto had mental powers right at the start, as well as magnet powers.

    There were actually a couple of instances in 80s comics where something huge would happen on the astral plane or something, and all the psychics of the world were shown in a montage noticing it, to show how big a deal it was. There weren’t so many mentalists in those days, so it was usually people like Xavier, Dr Druid, Franklin Richards, Dr Strange … and Magneto. His mental powers were mentioned in OHOTMU too.

  45. Chris V says:

    I think that idea about the next stage in human evolution being psychic was from Jack Kirby.
    He was the one who was more interested in those ideas, rather than Stan Lee.

    I do remember that in some of the earliest issues of the Lee/Kirby X-Men that Magneto was also shown to have some telepathic abilities also, but I thought it got dropped after Kirby left the book.
    I didn’t think it was counted as canon, so it’s interesting to know that it was referenced again after the Lee/Kirby early X-Men stories.

  46. Luis Dantas says:

    There is also the story from Amazing Adult Fantasy #14 (1962) by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko which was later expanded by John Byrne in his “X-Men: Hidden Years” series into a whole group of mutant telepaths called “The Promise”.

    It was published just over a year before the X-Men debuted, and Tobias Messenger even resembles Charles Xavier somewhat, up to having physical handicaps. In that story he recruits and influences the manifestation of the powers of Tad Carter.

  47. Chris V says:

    Oh, that’s right. I was thinking Kirby did the artwork on that story, but it was Ditko.

    Apparently, Ditko was the one who knew people interested in the occult.
    So, it would depend on how much influence Ditko had on plotting the Dr. Strange stories versus Lee.
    I’ve read that it was Ditko who heavily involved in the use of the mysticism ideas from Dr. Strange.

  48. Luis Dantas says:

    Jack Kirby seems to _have_ been the sole writer and penciler of the story in Yellow Claw #2 back in the 1950s that may have introduced Mutants to Marvel, though.

    As it happens, at least two of those _also_ joined The Promise.

  49. Thom H. says:

    @Si: Yeah, I reread Odd John recently (from 1935), and the common thread through all of the mutants was their telepathic ability. Some were great with languages or master engineers or whatever, but all of them were at least telepathic. So that totally tracks from before Lee/Kirby/Ditko/et al.

    A lot of the Omega level mutants in Marvel comics have telepathic abilities. I wonder if that’s a baseline ability in all of them. There are certainly outliers like Iceman, but he’s always been a slacker so he probably hasn’t even bothered to try. Or maybe it’s just a skill that those with “softer” powers like Magneto, Proteus, Nate Grey, etc. have.

  50. Chris V says:

    I read that story when it was reprinted in one of the Giant Size Master of Kung Fu comics.

    OK, so Lee could have gotten the idea from either Kirby or Ditko.
    It was probably one of their ideas though, and not from Lee.

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